India likely to have COVID vaccine for children above 2 years by September-October: AIIMS Director


AIIMS Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria on June 23, 2021, said COVID-19 protocols, lockdowns when required, and vaccinations for all including children will help avoid the third wave of COVID-19 curb the spread of the new Delta Plus variant.

There have been 40 cases of COVID-19 infection caused by the Delta Plus variant, informed the Health Ministry.

Dr Guleria said, “It is difficult to say that the Delta Plus variant is creating any problems in India,” but letting our guard down is not an option. He stressed being vigilant, following COVID-19 protocols, and getting vaccinated to avoid the third wave.

Third wave of COVID-19 pandemic dependent on us

• Dr Guleria said, “We must understand that the virus is still here and mutating.” The third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is dependent on us. Therefore, we need to follow three things aggressively to avoid the third wave, he added.

3 things to avoid third wave of COVID-19

• Dr Guleria advised that to avoid the third wave of COVID-19 and curb the spread of the new Delta Plus variant following three things – vaccination, appropriate behavior, and good surveillance are crucial, even if the count of cases comes down.

• He stressed strictly following the COVID-19 protocols such as social distancing, washing hands, wearing masks, and not making the mistake of complacency as made after the first wave.

• If any area is reporting an increased number of cases, hospital admissions, then that area must be isolated and restrictions must be imposed to stop the spread of the virus, he said.

Vaccination breaks chain of transmission

• Stressing on the need of vaccinating a larger population, Dr Guleria said that vaccination breaks the chain of transmission and those vaccinated are less likely to be infected with severe disease.

COVID vaccine for children aged 2 years and above by September-October

• Children usually get infected with mild disease but if we want to control this pandemic, we need to develop vaccines for children so that everyone is vaccinated, said Dr Guleria.

• He said that Bharat Biotech and other companies are conducting trials at a face pace to develop COVID-19 vaccines for children between 2 to 18 years. Data from the phase two or three trials of Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN vaccine on children is expected by September-October 2021.

• “Hopefully, by that time, approvals will be there so that we will have vaccines in India by September to October, which we can give to children,” Guleria added.

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